- Generally, the budget has been well received
- Support for single-parent households in particular welcomed
- Criticism that social and affordable housing was not addressed
Earlier, we summarised the main property-related announcements in last night’s federal budget.
What’s the reaction been from the industry?
Overall, it looks like the budget has been generally well-received, with many of the announcements made ahead of time. However, some industry bodies and related parties have criticised aspects of the measures announced, with a few expressing disappointment in some housing-related issues not being addressed at all.
‘Recovery will continue riding on the ute’s back’: Masters Builders Association
The Masters Builders Association (MBA) says it strongly backs this budget and it should boost the confidence of builders and tradies.
“This is not an accountant’s budget, it is a nation-builders. It’s a budget for people that believe in this country’s future like the people who work in the nation’s 400,000 building and construction businesses,” said Denita Wawn, CEO of Masters Builders Australia.
“Governments usually struggle to successfully manage the transition of the economy back from life support to strong growth led by the private sector, but this budget has the potential to succeed.”
Denita Wawn, MBA CEO
Ms Wawn said the extension of the instant asset write off scheme will mean the “cash registers will continue to ring” due to the purchase of new assets.
Additionally, she added that the Family Home Guarantee, extension of the Boosting Apprentice Commencement wage subsidy, the National Resilience and Recovery Agency and the new support for 5,000 women to learn a trade within the construction have all been welcomed by the building industry.
“This budget has linked good economic policy with good social policy,” concluded Ms Wawn.
Federal Budget misses crucial opportunity to tackle homelessness, housing stress: Everybody’s Home
Kate Colvin, the national spokesperson for the Everybody’s Home campaign, said the federal government had missed an opportunity to support struggling renters and older Australians who are at risk of being homeless, due to no clear investment in social and affordable housing.
“Stable housing is absolutely vital for people who have suffered serious setbacks such as family violence, unemployment, or ill-health. Affordable and social housing provides the stability to find a job, and look after your health and your family,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the government has missed an opportunity to invest in the potential of our people.”
Ms Colvin said the federal government had overlooked not just the social but economic benefits of affordable housing.
Economic modelling shows a joint Commonwealth/State-Territory investment of $7.7 billion, constructing 30,000 new homes over the next four years, would support 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs per annum, she said.
“There are enormous employment and productivity benefits to be unlocked from a better balanced housing system. We need to give people greater choice and allow those on low and modest incomes to live closer to employment.”
Kate Colvin, Everybody’s Home national spokesperson
Commitment to 12% super will boost women’s savings… but mums are being left behind: Industry Super
Industry Super criticised the budget for not enforcing super to be paid on commonwealth paid parental leave, which Chief Executive Bernie Dean says lets down those who take parental leave – especially women, who represent 90% of those who take such leave.
“After employers and workers pulled the economy through a really tough year, it’s good that Australians can bank on super going to 12% but a real let down that the government didn’t take the opportunity to close the gender gap by getting super paid on paid parental leave,” said Mr Dean.
“The best way to improve women’s economic security is to stop talking about it as a problem and get rid of outdated policies by paying super on every dollar they earn and mandating that it be paid on payday.”
“The government is sending the message to mums that it is OK for their savings to suffer when they take time out of the paid workforce to raise children.”
Bernie Dean, Industry Super Chief Executive
Industry Super also said that boosting housing supply, winding back property investor tax incentives and removing stamp duty are much better ways to tackle housing affordability.
They argue measures such as the increased cap in voluntary super contributions will not make a difference to housing affordability; in fact, it could make it worse as larger super deposits could inflate property prices while leaving retirees worse off and taxpayers slugged.
Budget provides a positive outlook for buyers, sellers, investors, tenants and small businesses: REIA
The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has broadly welcomed the measures within the budget, especially for help targeted towards women and first home buyers, along with taxation benefits for the small business sector.
“REIA welcomes the budget which is aimed at helping women and first home buyers and continues to provide taxation benefits for the small business sector,” said REIA President, Adrian Kelly.
He confirmed support for the increase in the First Home Super Saver scheme along with superannuation incentives for Australians aged 60 and over to downsize, adding this allows older Australians to move to housing “that better suits their lifestyles” and from a wider perspective should encourage turnover, and hence more supply, in the housing market.
However, Mr Kelly added he was disappointed that interest rate tax deductions for first home buyers were not featured in the budget.
“We will continue to advocate for first home buyers to have the ability to claim interest payments as a tax deduction which will be crucial in years to come when interest rates start to rise.”
Adrian Kelly, REIA President